Here we go again. Your tax dollars at work. Well-meaning, but misguided federal agents will once again be out in force for a two-day blitz. Brought to you in the name of safety, the Annual CVSA International Roadcheck will begin on June 5. You can expect heightened enforcement as your drivers are pulled over and raked over the coals. The inspection covers 37 different potential infractions, however this year’s emphasis will be on hours of service.
Of course, we can suggest that you advise your drivers to be extra vigilant and make sure that they are completely prepared, but somehow it feels wrong. After all, shouldn’t they be vigilant every other day of the year? If the point is to catch bad guys then why would we help them avoid getting caught on this particular day? It’s like warning someone of a speed trap up ahead. If the goal of speed trap is to give out tickets and punish illegal behavior, then let people get caught.
More disturbing is the fact that the 37 possible infractions that are being investigated have very little to do with making the roads safer. I’m not saying that there aren’t unsafe vehicles out there. Nor am I saying there aren’t drivers still cheating on hours of service. We can all agree that fatigue is a factor in accident causation. However, safety is defined as freedom from risk and, by that definition, we can never truly be safe. Safety is simply an ideal we work toward by avoiding or reducing risk.
Where does risk truly come from? Is it loose lug nuts? Chaffed airlines? Surely there are some mechanical defects that contribute to collisions, but the truth is all of them are the result of human behaviors: drivers who failed to inspect their vehicle in the first place. Mechanics who failed to repair the vehicle properly. Or in the worst cases, owners who failed to invest in preventative maintenance.
Accidents and injuries are the result of human behaviors. We have to focus there. Unfortunately, the government is unable to focus on behaviors and instead creates regulations that allow troopers to inspect things that are “inspectable.”
Sign up today for a free A-Fleet online course on Federal Regulations for drivers. Please promise not to use it as a one-time subterfuge to the annual CSA inspection. Rather put it in place long-term and establish the expectation that your drivers should always abide by any federal regulations. Using this tool will help you avoid problems. But best of all it will save you time precious time that you can now invest focused on your drivers’ behaviors.
Thank you for helping us make the world a safer place.